In a new energy and climate plan, the European Commission has proposed a 40% by 2030 target for renewable energy, as part of its new ‘Fit for 55’ package, which aims to reduce EU greenhouse gas emissions by 55% from 1990 levels by 2030. It also looks at border carbon tariffs, home insulation upgrades, vehicle emission cuts, and low carbon aviation options. Perhaps inevitably, some of these moves have met opposition, for example from heavy carbon using countries and those concerned about border carbon taxes. But there were also objections from those who felt much more could and should be done. For example, more attention to energy efficiency was called for. And more renewables. As Euractiv reported, SolarPower Europe had earlier said ‘reaching 45% renewable energy by 2030 is possible and would set the EU on a cost-effective trajectory to become climate neutral before 2050’. Then again, not all renewables were welcomed by all. The EC has been trying to develop a taxonomy for eligibility for energy investment, and there have been objections to the inclusion of bioenergy on the basis of environmental impacts. There certainly have been some concerns raised about EU biofuels policy. Another big area for contention was of course nuclear power. It has been quite a battle, with strong pressures to exclude it from the taxonomy, on the basis of social and environmental ‘do no significant harm’ criteria. The EC Joint Research Centre was commissioned to produce a review, but with its conclusion being that inclusion would be acceptable, it attracted more dissent.
Renew Extra 9th Oct 2021 read more »